Submitting your site to the
By Sumantra Roy
Getting your site an optimum listing in the Open Directory (http://www.dmoz.org)
is vitally important as far as search engine positioning is concerned as Google
gives a lot of importance to sites being listed in the Open Directory.
Before you submit your site, go through your entire site and ensure that there
are no missing graphics, no links leading to empty or non- existent pages and no
"Under construction" symbols. Also, check for typos and grammatical errors.
Furthermore, your site must provide good content. If your site simply contains
links to various affiliate programs, you will find it difficult to get through.
The Open Directory does not mind sites containing links to affiliate programs,
as long as you provide proper content.
You now need to select the two most important keywords for your site based on
their popularity. If you don't yet know the keywords which are applicable for
your site, I have mentioned that while selecting the keywords for your site, you
should look at both the popularity of the keywords as well as their
competitiveness. However, for the purpose of this article, don't worry about the
competitiveness - select keywords only on the basis of popularity.
We now discuss how you should write the Title and Description of your site's
listing in the Open Directory. You don't really have much choice regarding the
Title as the Open Directory insists that the Title be the official name of your
site. There is no way around it.
When you write the description, your aim should be to make the Open Directory
editor's job as easy as possible. You should not give the editor the feeling
that he/she needs to edit your description in any way. The moment an editor
starts to edit your description, you risk having your keywords removed from your
Your description should be a single sentence which conveys what your site is all
about and contains the two keywords you are targeting as close as possible to
the beginning of the description. However, your description should not just be a
list of keywords - the description that you use should be a proper sentence and
should be grammatically correct.
Broadly, here are the rules that you should remember when forming the
i) Make sure that the description can tell a visitor what your site is all
about. Things like "Have a look at our site" or "Welcome to my site" does not
tell a visitor what your site does.
ii) Avoid hype of any sort. Avoid using ALL CAPS or exclamation marks. Phrases
like "The best web site dealing with widgets!!" or "Offers the BEST QUALITY,
CHEAPEST WIDGETS you can find anywhere" are inappropriate.
iii) Don't capitalize every word in your description - capitalize only the first
word. Of course, if some of the words in the description are proper nouns, then
you should capitalize them.
iv) Write the description in the third person. Don't say "We offer financial
planning and credit counseling services", say "Offers financial planning and
credit counseling services.".
v) Don't make your description too long - limit yourself to 15 words at the
most. If you are lucky, you may be able to get accepted with a description
longer than 15 words. However, longer the description, higher the probability
that the editor will want to edit it.
vi) Check your description for typos and grammatical mistakes.
vii) End your description with a period. If the editor has to add the period to
the end of your description, she may also end up editing the description, which
is not what you want. Your aim is to have the editor accept the exact
description that you had written in order to ensure that your keywords are not
removed from the description.
Now, we come to how you can select the right category for your site. Go to the
Open Directory, and search for the two keywords you have established. Does a
particular category come up at the top for both the keywords? If so, go to that
category, and see whether the sites present in the category are similar to
yours. Also see whether that category has a Description and/or a FAQ. Read them
and find out whether that category is applicable for your site. If so, this is
the category you should submit your site to.
If different categories come up at the top for the two keywords, go through all
the categories and find out which is the most appropriate category among the
For some keywords, you will find that the Open Directory does not display any
categories. In this case, find out which category most of the top sites belong
to and submit your site to that category, assuming it is applicable for your
Once you have selected the right category, click on the "add URL" link at the
top. Type in the address of your site in the first text box, the official name
of your site in the next text box, the description that you have earlier
developed in the third text box and your email address in the fourth text box.
Although the Open Directory says that including the email address is optional, I
would recommend that you include it - if, for some reason, your site is not
accepted, the Open Directory editor may want to tell you why your site has not
What to do if your site is not accepted
After submitting your site, go to the category where you have submitted your
site every day and see when your site gets listed. If you find that your site is
not in that category, it may so happen that you have been placed in a different
category. Type in your domain name in Open Directory's search box and see
whether your site comes up in the results. I have seen some sites getting
accepted within 1 day and some sites in about 2-3 weeks.
If your site has not been listed after three weeks, then re-submit it to the
same category and wait for another three weeks. If your site is still not
accepted, then have a look at your site again. Does it contain any missing
images or links, links to empty pages or under construction signs? Does it
provide good content? Does it have any spelling or grammatical errors?
If you are absolutely convinced that your site is eligible for being accepted by
the Open Directory, then the fact that your site is not being accepted may
signify one of two things:
i) The editor of that category is inactive, i.e. he/she has not been reviewing
sites for a long time.
ii) He/she is your competitor, and does not want to list you.
In this case, the first step is to write to the editor of the category. Scroll
down to the bottom of the category to which you are trying to submit your site
and click on the name of the editor. If that category does not have an editor,
go to the category above that in the hierarchy. For instance, suppose you are
trying to submit to the Computers: Consultants: Business Systems category. At
the time of writing of this article, that category did not have an editor. In
this case, you should go to the Computers: Consultants category and click on one
of the editors there. Click on the "Send to editorname" link, and in the
Comments field, write a very polite message to the editor. Tell her that you
have been trying to submit your site to the Open Directory and you have been
unsuccessful. Give her the complete details of your submission, i.e. the
category to which you submitted, your URL, the Title and the Description that
you used and the dates on which you submitted. Ask her as to whether there are
any mistakes that you are making and whether she would be kind enough to point
out the mistakes to you so that you can correct them.
If, after two weeks, you don't get any reply from the editor and are not
accepted into the Open Directory, then look for another category which is
applicable for your site using the method outlined earlier and submit your site
to this category.
Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected search
engine positioning specialists on the Internet. To have Sumantra's company place
your site at the top of the search engines, go to
http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3455_d For more advice on how you can
take your web site to the top of the search engines.